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June 18, 2010

Graeme McDowell


Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, decent day's work. Obviously 9 is 9, like you said. It's a tough golf hole. We had some good conditions out there this morning. The wind was quite, took a little while to wake up. The greens were quite receptive. It was 7:20 in the morning so it took the body a little bit of time to wake up.
But once I got going I made a really good putt on 14 from about 30 feet, which really got my round going. I birdied 16 and 18. So that really got things moving. And I felt great. I gave myself a lot of chances, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, generally felt pretty good with the putter again today. So, yeah, no complaints. Good day's work.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: This is one of the special places in world golf. There's a lot of golf courses in the world that kind of give you the goose bumps when you're playing them. Sort of first tee at St. Andrews, maybe the 17th at St. Andrews, here, Augusta, obviously.
But when you're walking down 7, 8, 9, 10, here it just is a beautiful place to play golf. And obviously to have your name at the top of the leaderboard of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach is a special feeling. But you're out there and the golf course has got some teeth, so you're really trying to keep your wits about you.
I'm just really happy the way I've conducted myself the last couple days. Today more so. Yesterday I got a little frustrated, today I kept my emotions in check a little better, hit some really nice shots. And I've really spent time the early in the week trying to take the golf course apart and trying to work out how to get around it and to certain pin position and I felt like I've done that really well.
I got a great caddie on the bag whose really helped me plot my way around the golf course and generally am just happy with the way I'm getting around here.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, like you say, it is heaven and hell for sure. How do you keep hell out of the equation? You don't get above the hole. That's, that's the number one key to this golf course. Obviously finding the fairways is a big key here; and from there, like I say, you've really got to be smart coming into the greens. They're very putt able until you start getting above the hole, like I say.
And like on 9 today, I mean I just have no putt there. I raised my first putt off the green and you're in big trouble. I mean it's, like I say, the golf course is playable from below the hole. You start missing the greens in or around the rough, the rough's very wiry, very thick around the greens.
So you got to be smart, you got to leave the ball in the correct position to give yourself a chance to make par or perhaps better, hopefully.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Well what does it mean to be on top of the leaderboard? I'm just happy to be in position going into a Major weekend. I've really, I'm really not putting any pressure on myself. I'm not going into this week with any big expectations, I'm really just trying to just to do my thing, really and see what happens come Sunday.
You know, there's a lot of great players out here, I feel that my game's ready to compete in a Major Championship. Is this weekend my time? Who knows, I mean I'm really not going to, like I say, not going to put any pressure on myself I'm going to trust my game, believe in my game, stay as relaxed as I feel on the golf course right now and like I say, if I get a chance Sunday afternoon I'll certainly give it my best shot.

Q. How did you find 11 birdie out there?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: 11 birdies in two days? Really.

Q. More than the next best guy at the moment.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: The putter's been pretty kind to me. I've made some nice putts. But I felt like I played the golf course properly. I feel like I've been disciplined with my game plan. I hit 2-iron off 18 yesterday and I hit driver off 18 today. So I'm really adapting to what the golf course is throwing me. I think Mike Davis sets a golf course up really, really well. He moved some tee boxes around today, really gave us something to think about.
Like 18 was moved forward. And I decided that, back into the wind, that I wasn't going to hit driver, but today there wasn't as much wind and like I say the tee box was up and all of a sudden my game plan's got to change.
So I made a few nice putts, but generally gave myself a ton of looks at birdie just by playing smart golf.

Q. You didn't hurt yourself thinking too much out there, did you?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I was thinking hard. I have to say, I had a bit of brain damage when I came off the golf course last night. But this place will do it to you in a heartbeat.
Like I say, I felt like I kept my emotions a lot more in check today. I got a little frustrated idea on the golf course. I was beating myself up a little bit. But the U.S. Open will do that to you if you let it.

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